Welcome to my BRAND NEW blogging series- Books By The Beach!
The world famous Gold Coast is a major tourist destination and is widely known for the high-rise dominated skyline, and also the theme parks, nightlife and rainforest hinterland. The Gold Coast is renowned for its beaches, from the iconic Surfers Paradise to the World Surfing Reserve between Burleigh and Snapper Rocks.
I will be starting the tour at at Paradise Point in the northern Gold Coast, and traveling south all the way down to Coolangatta on the Queensland/New South Wales state border. I will share with you a little about each location, its history and what makes it unique.
At each beach, I will also share with you one of my short stories or books, which will be available as a downloadable in PDF (books will have an excerpt available). I will be giving a little insight into the inspiration behind the story/book and the process of writing them.
I started working on this blog series about a year ago, when I was still living in Broadbeach. However some significant life changes and upheavals caused long delays in the completion of this series, and I have since relocated to beautiful Coolangatta, where the series concludes.
My first stop is Paradise Point, at the northern end of the Gold Coast.
The suburb lies on the Gold Coast Broadwater with direct access to the Coomera River. The area is protected by South Stradbroke Island, which lies off the coast.
Paradise Point is an upmarket suburb on the northern end of the Gold Coast, with many properties worth millions of dollars.
The esplanade parklands along the east side of the suburb makes it a locally popular area for casual waterfront park picnics and recreation, and also a monthly arts and crafts market. As part of a Gold Coast parks upgrade the local esplanade acquired new children’s playground, public amenities, barbecue facilities and picnic shelters.
Prior to its subdivision and development, the area was a quiet fishing spot that could be reached by a track that went through swampy land, studded with eucalyptus trees.
Following World War II, approximately 200 hectares of the land which eventually became Paradise Point was owned by Ralph Faulkinder who had acquired it for £600 from his deferred pay following the war. By the early 1950s, Faulkinder decided to subdivide part of his property.
The views over the Broadwater, excellent fishing spots and proximity to Hollywell provided additional appeal. By August 1954, three houses had been built and there were plans for a store and boating business to be opened by December. A further eight houses were to be constructed in the following months. In 1957, electricity poles had been erected within the estate in preparation for power lines to be installed. By 1959, more than 300 lots had been sold in Paradise Point. The development was advertised at the perfect location for a holiday home and an ideal place to escape the crowds further south along the coast. As a result, Paradise Point was a popular choice for older retirees looking for a quiet home near the water.
By 1983, Paradise Point had approximately 1400 homes, with more being built. With a growing community, the 200 members of the Paradise Point and Northern Districts Progress Association lobbied for improved amenities including a community centre, street lighting, parking areas, bike racks, a fire station, improved drainage, and the Pine Ridge Environmental Park. Land was set aside for a police station.
In 1986, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen opened the $3 million Haddon’s Marina at Paradise Point. The marina had berths for 50 boats, supplied both equipment and boats for hire and was a departure point for boats travelling to Tipplers, North Stradbroke Island and Jumpinpin.
By the 1990s, lobbying to protect the mangroves at Jabiru Island resulted in the establishment of the Phil Hill Environmental Reserve. During the same period, a $200,000 streetscaping project commenced along The Esplanade to remove overhead powerlines, install a swimming enclosure and beautify the area.
In later years, Paradise Point was further transformed by the development of Andys and Griffin Islands into Sovereign Island and the subdivision of Ephraim Island into prestige waterfront housing with deepwater moorings capable of accommodating ocean cruisers.
I hope you’ll join me for the next episode of Books By The Beach, where I will be coming to you from The Spit!